10 Essential Vegan Ingredients

There’s no recipe that can’t be tweaked with a vegan substitute or two. In fact, it’s easier than you think to veganise your favourite recipe, and get creative with vegan cooking.

We've come a long way in a couple of decades. From just a few vegan ingredient substitutes on the market— usually purchased at health food shops— there is now an ever-growing number of vegan products on the market to choose from.

There are numerous non-dairy milks, vegan cheeses, egg replacers, and alternative meat start-ups cropping up seemingly every week, offering us plant-based sausages, chicken nuggets, mince, burgers and fish. This is great news for vegan cooking. But, many commonly used vegan substitutes are actually super simple and probably already in your pantry or fridge—and widely found in supermarkets— meaning it's easier than you think to get creative in the kitchen with vegan cooking.

Here are some of our regular vegan cooking go-tos.



Don’t underestimate the power of tofu. Far from being a block of tasteless mush, with the right sauces and spices (it's all in the seasoning, after all) this humble staple can be turned into scrambled eggs, quiches, BBQ skewers, bakes, dumplings, lasagne, and even creamy mousse and desserts. Choose from soft or firm tofu, silken tofu for puddings or dips, baked tofu, even smoked or marinated tofu. You can use if for pretty much everything.



There are many powdered egg substitutes on the market today, but let’s face it, when you need it most chances are you don’t have it in your pantry. So, what to do when a recipe calls for eggs? Reach for flaxseed. Ground them up (or have flax meal on hand) and mix them with water ( a ratio of 1:3 parts of water) and you have a binding ingredient that serves as a great vegan egg substitute. Oh, and they’re packed full of Omega 3’s. Chia seeds and psyllium husk used in the same way work well as egg replacer too.